Creating Sustainable Communities

Lessons from the Hudson River Region

By Rik Scarce

Subjects: Environmental Sociology, New York/regional, Ecology, Urban And Regional Planning
Series: Excelsior Editions, SUNY Press Open Access
Imprint: Excelsior Editions
Paperback : 9781438456423, 272 pages, June 2015
Hardcover : 9781438456430, 272 pages, June 2015

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Table of contents

List of Illustrations
Introduction: Remaking a Region—Intentionally
1. How We Lost Sustainability
2. A Place under Siege
3. A Constant Bounty
4. Two Hundred Subdivisions Too Late?
5. Remaking Communities
6. How It All Adds Up
7. A Complete Disruption
8. A Landscape to Fight For
Conclusion: A Practical Revolution
Methodological Note

Explores efforts aimed at creating sustainable communities throughout the Hudson River region.


From Mount Marcy to Manhattan and beyond, the Hudson River region has become an incubator for rich and varied experiments in sustainable living. In this fascinating book, Rik Scarce showcases some of these efforts by telling the stories of dynamic individuals and organizations that are remaking the region's landscape through ecosystem stewardship, nurturing agricultural practices, and urban renewal for the twenty-first century, along with those promoting creative land-use planning, richly functioning communities, and green businesses. Together, their achievements point to the potential for other areas of the country to forge sustainable futures, and also remind us of the sobering realities and daunting challenges that await us as we attempt to remake our relationships with the planet and with each other.

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Rik Scarce is Associate Professor of Sociology at Skidmore College and the author of Eco-Warriors: Understanding the Radical Environmental Movement. He lives in Averill Park, just up the street from the Wynantskill, a minor but direct tributary of the Hudson River.


"Powerful, massively inspiring stories from one of the loveliest spots on the planet: this is the new Hudson River School, and we all should be taking notes!" — Bill McKibben, author of Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future

"Unlike the bulk of environmental writing from the post–World War II era, dominated as it is by dystopian works and pessimistic predictions, this book offers hope. We meet good people doing good things, and doing them effectively as models for others to imitate. " — Mark Hamilton Lytle, author of The Gentle Subversive: Rachel Carson, Silent Spring, and the Rise of the Environmental Movement